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Tales from the Table: Failures from BWA (February)

Wow it has been a while since I’ve recorded the exploits of our adventuring college dropouts. The quick summary of the last few months:

What’s Happened So Far

They met the mayor of the college town, Woarfrost, while on a farewell bar tour around town before they went their separate ways. She offered them lucrative henchmen positions to get around the red-tape of adventuring licenses while mentioning a local miller was having issues. Investigating turned up that the miller had accidentally sold his daughter to a demon for a chest of gold. He spent it all trying in vain to buy protection for his daughter. The miller was at the end of his rope for what to do when the demon arrives in two weeks. Mama Joe, the town’s resident clergy remembered an old temple of healing to the north. Misunderstanding the directions, the group went westward around the mountains to find a half-buried tomb.  

Assuming it was the right place, they explored this slime, trap, and vermin filled tomb bearing weird scripts on its walls. Noticing their mistake, a trip back around the mountains get them to the right temple, where nasty black goo filled zombies slowed their retrieval of a mystic urn and its sparkling waters. Their return to the town found it in an exasperated bid for any and all defenses they could think of, ditches, barrels of holy water, and a thoroughly exhausted Mama Joe. The group still had a week left so they decided to go explore more of the tomb to get stronger before returning. The second level of the tomb proved to be just about all they could take, so they returned to Woarfrost to improve their gear on the way to Sunny Dale to deal with the demon’s appearance in a few days.

A Hero’s Luke-Warm Welcome

A brisk walk brings the group into town, where Mama Joe spots them through barely open eyes weighed down with dark circles. One weakly proffered argument later and Mama Joe shuffles to her home, collapsing to the floor inside with a snore. Heidi carefully shuts the door behind her. Glancing around, the group sees the results of a week of work this town has done, foot high walls between the circle of houses, foot deep trenches in front of them, and four barrels of holy water. Marina and Heidi share a glance before shooing away the townsfolk. Earth moves at Marina’s stubborn movements, shifting under the focus of her ki, while Heidi directs the earthworks’ design in ways reminiscent of the great halls of her mountain homeland. In a matter of hours, the two raise the walls to a respectable five feet, deepening the exterior trench. At the same time, the other three dig a deep pool for Schlubbel to use a newly aquired AnyMug to fill with alcohol. Three days remain before the demon returns.

Tin Spit Bandits!

In the middle of the following morning, a large group of men stand in loose formations on the hill outside of town. A few braziers provide flame for a thin volley of warning shots into the thatch roofs of Sunny Dale, before a leather armored man blows a horn then steps behind a  trio of men in metal armor wielding tower shields. The spear and club armed peasants fall in droves, with only a few making it past a barrage of attacks to scramble up and over the dirt walls. Another volley of flaming shot is sent into the flammable rooftops before Heidi calls upon the power of storms to smite the archers. Hiding behind the few metal armored and tower shielded men by the braziers offered little protection from the blasts of lightning.  

As the first wave was thinning out, the leather armored man had moved in closer to the walls with his shield guards, “Burn it all down, boys! Gold don’t burn! Show ‘em ya Tin Spits”. A trickle of smoke from the other end of the town revealed the ruse, axe-wielding raider had snuck around to set the halfling family’s and Tracy Bark’s roofs on fire. Now split in their defensive line, more peasants and raiders are getting over the walls, with a few breaking into the Provence home. Fungerfil sneaks into the home and silently puts a bolt in the head of the man guarding the family while his fellow continues to search the house. He tosses the dead man’s axe to Bill Provence before leaving to rejoin the fight outdoors just in time to see the miller’s daughter with a knife to her throat being escorted from the mill demanding a ransom. The gnome’s head is blown apart in the same instant by Schlubbel, before he turns to continue blasting at the raiders slinking in to engage Boone, Marina, and Heidi now in bear form.

Bodies piling up, the man in leather armor turns to leave the battle before he sees a massive figure on a more distant hill. The grey-skinned man bellows, “Get to the front line you coward, I will be watching.”. The leather armored man and his posse scramble up over the walls before being quickly dispatched by a waiting bear and fighter team. With the battle nearly finished, the last few archers on the hill scramble to escape while two axe-wielding raiders that attempt to flee are knocked out as they attempt to climb up the dirt walls. Molting her bear form, Heidi calls up a storm that Marina manipulates with her ki, to a sputtering and gurgling refrain from the quickly doused flames. Mr. and Mrs. Provence, armed with handaxes have come out of their homes to help defend the town, finding everything mostly dealt with. A boulder hurtles through the air, knocking a number of the adventurers aside, with just enough time for Mrs. Provence to shove her husband to the ground away from the boulder that pins her half to the ground. Clutching her hand, Mr. Provence can barely hear her last few words before she passes away, “Give ‘em hell Bill”. A sealed envelope is nailed to the stone, “Greetings”.  

“I will admit you performed well today. Know that you have made a grave enemy today and that by the looks of you, it will not be hard to pay off a few adventurer’s guild bureaucrats to find your names. In truth I won’t miss these dregs much, but I do enjoy having competent opponents.

-Yours,

Maximillion Veralius”

The note’s elegant cursive and sweeping calligraphy only heighten the groups suspicion of the Tin Spit bandits, but the group hesitates to discuss it’s implications while Mrs. Provence lies unburied. A short ceremony and a decorated gravemarker outside town is put together for the warm, if stern, lady Provence. The adventurers spend the rest of the day moving the bodies to a pile outside the town, stripping them of their supplies. In doing so, they find a couple carts filled with empty bags and boxes along with a donkey that warms up quickly to Schlubbel’s offering of a handful of oats. Boone elects to take the first watch of the night. There are two days left before the demon arrives.

Mysterious Martin

A lucky spot of moonlight glancing off a the hill helps Boone spot a man on the distant hill crawling in the grasses. The half-orc rouses Schlubbel enough for a Fly spell to keep watch on the man from the air during his shift. By the end of his shift, the man hasn’t come any closer or done anything, so Boone wakes up Marina for the second shift. Luckily, she also catches a glimpse of the man on the hill, and decides to do some investigating. Her and Schlubbel cast fly on their pet buffalo, riding her through the air to confront the oddly well-dressed man, who is started by the sudden appearance of a flying buffalo ridden by a gnome and a tiefling. “Please don’t hurt me. I came here after coming upon a demon-summoning wizard. I had to spy on this village. The wizard cursed me and even summoned demons to threaten me to prove his power!” Marina and Schlubbel toss him in a pit holding the two captured raiders and decide to wait until morning.

In the morning they dig a second pit to put the raiders in, so they can safely make sure the well-dressed, if dirty and bedraggled, man isn’t the demon. While the group is discussing cost effective ways of determining the man’s true nature, Boone takes a big ‘ol swig of holy water and tries to spit it on annoyed man in the hole. Disgusted, Martin DuFont leaps to the side to avoid the brute’s loogie. Thinking he has an opening, Boone demands that Martin drink from the holy water flask to prove his innocence. Despite arguing and begging that he is quite normal, he relents to ‘prove it’ but keeps his sleeve between his lips and the canteen while drinking to avoid half-orc slobber. As he goes to toss the canteen back up, the cap flies off as it careens off of the side, dumping holy water all over himself. Martin DuFont began to sizzle, “That’s unfortunate. Things were going so well.”

Seizing the initiative, Heidi calls down the cleansing power of the moon while Marina knocks open the barrels of holy water to concentrate them into holy water whips. Battered with holy energies, the demon offers, “Right now, I’m just here for the tree. If you’ll let me get what I came for, we can all go on our way”. Another water whip slices across his back while the concentrated moon beams burn his flesh. Sundering his tailored outfit, Xykrastigyle returns to his full demon form, calling forth a few minor demons to attack as he teleports away. Clutching three of his four arms to his bleeding chest, he coughs, “I’ll be back at sunrise. I hope you’re ready for a BALL”, as he exits with a stilted bow.

The Demon’s Return

During the day’s preparations, the adventurer’s decide to have Mama Joe make some more holy water, while Fungerfil uses the captures bows to trap the villagers houses for when the demon shows. They have the miller’s daughter stay with Mama Joe. Maybe her home will provide some sanctity to stop the demon teleporting in. When Fungerfil enters the mill to set a trap, he finds it ransacked. Then, checking on the Millers he finds the demon has left a note saying the girl should save everyone the trouble and come along willingly. Luckily she wasn’t there to recieve it and the Millers didn’t see anything. When Schlubbel hears of the spilled oats, he is furious. Mid-afternoon, Marina goes to burn the bodies, but finds some of them moving. The bodies rise as zombies to attack. Luckily, only a few are reanimated and are quickly put down without harm. During the fight, Boone saw a small blur flit out from under the bodies and disappear into the long grasses. The bodies are burned under Marina’s ki-directed fire.

In the evening, the Demon returns, opening with a fireball scroll that sets the alcohol pit ablaze and starting some fires. He leaps into the fray with four daggers and causes some damage while boone tries to hold the line for Heidi to get in another Moon beam and Marina to do more water whips. Bloodied, his musculature gets more pronounced. His horns grow long. An attack by Boone sees a response with a powerful head-butt accompanied by a snarl. The same hit Schlubbel gets when he strays too close. The weakened demon jumps into the blazing pit of alcohol. With a full mouth he lunges out, spraying gout of fire before he is put down with a well timed combination of a holy water whip and double bolts from Fungerfil. His collapsing body burns to a sulphurous crisp. Only a bleached, horned skull is left.

Demon Skull

With a rude sound, a note appears in the skull’s mouth. “

“I HATE YOU”. *PFFLOOPF* “I HATE BEING A LIAR”

Marina jots out a quick note and puts it in the skull’s mouth.

*PFFLOOPF* “IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY”

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